Trade, Tax Reform, and the Tolls of the Racial Wage Gap

August 4, 2017

The Roosevelt Rundown is an email series featuring the Roosevelt Institute’s top 5 stories of the week.

1. Trump’s Weak Tea on Trade

As the Democratic Party released its updated platform on trade, many noted that in broad strokes it sounds eerily similar to what President Trump has done so far. But in conversation with Vox, Roosevelt Fellow Todd Tucker explained the key difference; the opposition’s vision goes much further in demanding concrete, deliverable outcomes from a renovated trade policy. These targets include discouraging outsourcing, cracking down on foreign currency manipulation and requiring the government to use domestically made materials on infrastructure projects.

2. Stopping Conservative Tax Cuts for the Rich

Congressional Republicans have made it clear they plan to move on to tax reform following the failure of their plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The details of their plans suggest they intend to dramatically cut taxes for CEOs and the wealthiest Americans. In the Washington Post, Roosevelt Fellow Michael Linden described how being honest about these tax cuts and the ways they will overwhelmingly benefit people who don’t need any help economically will make it harder for them to pass.

3. #BlackWomensEqualPayDay

This week, people across the country and on social media marked Black Women’s Equal Pay Day to draw attention to the stubborn disparities in how much Black women earn relative to the male and white counterparts. In The Establishment, Andrea Flynn’s report “Justice Doesn’t Trickle Down: How Racialized and Gender Rules are Holding Women Back” was included in an exploration of the ways these gaps have devastating impacts on women of color and their families.

4. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Roosevelt Institute Board member and president of the Teamsters union James Hoffa was in The Detroit News this week reacting to the Democratic Party’s “Better Deal” agenda. In his piece, Hoffa emphasized the overriding importance of good jobs for American workers and how these must include livable wages, good benefits, secure pensions and the sorts of paid family leave policies that we called for in “Rewrite the Rules.”

5. Antitrust at the FCC

On our blog, Roosevelt Fellow Marshall Steinbaum continued the conversation about antitrust by exploring the latest developments at the FCC and the ways these changes will impact television viewers and the broader debate around net neutrality. These moves, detailed in his post, will make the television industry less competitive and mirrors trends seen in other sectors like finance and airlines.

What We’re Reading:

“Why the Scariest Nuclear Threat May Be Coming From Inside the White House” In Vanity Fair, Michael Lewis took a look at the importance of the public sector’s role in innovation and ensuring we have a secure, dynamic society by focusing on the history and current situation of the Department of Energy. Alarmingly, he details how the administration’s inattention to that Department’s mission and the right-wing ideologues recently installed there are endangering America’s security, environment and innovation edge.

What We’re Watching:

Following the Missouri state legislature moving to scrap anti-discrimination protections, the national NAACP issued a statewide travel advisory for the first time in its history. On the PBS Newshour, this segment explores the factors behind this decision and the condition of racial rules in the Show Me state.